Mubarak rules out son's succession

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak has said his son Gamal will not take over the presidency after him.

    Mubarak has been in power since 1981

    The

    official MENA news agency reported on Thursday that Mubarak

    said Egypt would not follow the example of Syria, where Bashar

    al-Assad took over power from his father in

    2000.

    "This is nonsense... the regime in Egypt is republican, there is

    no hereditary transfer of power. This happened in a certain country (Syria),

    it will not happen in Egypt," he said.

    Gamal Mubarak, 40, was named in 2002 to head the ruling National

    Democratic Party's powerful political committee,

    fuelling rumours

    he was being prepared to succeed his father

    .

    But the 75-year-old president, who has been in power since 1981,

    said he was initially reluctant to let his son join the ruling

    party.

    Health problems 

    Gamal Mubarak was tipped to
    succeed his father

    "The talk of a hereditary transfer of power started after my son

    joined the party. But he joined with great difficulty, after several

    requests were conveyed to me," he said

    .

    The issue of the succession came under renewed attention in

    November when the president interrupted a keynote speech to

    parliament because of what officials said was a bout of severe

    'flu.

    Mubarak has never named a vice president, the route he and his

    predecessor Anwar al-Sadat, took to become head of state, both after

    a career in the army.

    The constitution says if the president dies or is unable to

    exercise his functions, the speaker of parliament becomes acting

    president for 60 days.

    During this time parliament must designate a

    presidential candidate by two-thirds majority.

    The candidate must then be endorsed by referendum.

    SOURCE: AFP


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